The introduction of slot machines at O’Hare International (ORD) and Midway International (MDW) is much closer to reality after the Illinois legislature passed a $12 billion capital funding bill this weekend that dramatically expands gambling in the state.
House Bill 690 passed both the Illinois House and Senate by a large margin in the final days of the legislative session and multiple news reports suggest Governor J.B. Pritzker will sign the bill into law as he has been a staunch supporter of the revenue-generating opportunities of gambling in the state.
The gambling amendment to the bill dramatically expands sports betting in the state, allows for the building of new land-based casinos in Chicago and other parts of the state and enables sporting betting at venues such as the Soldier Field football stadium.
The introduction of slot machines at O’Hare and Midway would be part of the Chicago casino, which would be privately run under the proposed law.
The Chicago Department of Aviation, operators of ORD and MDW, did not immediately return calls asking for comment on the timing of gambling’s introduction at the airports.